How to Get Girls to Choose, and Stick With, STEM Careers

I want to thank Beck Andre for sending this excellent article ” How to Get Girls to Choose, and Stick With, STEM Careers: A Future Tense Event Recap“.  The article covers a lot of ground and gives some rationale for why we aren’t seeing the numbers of women in STEM careers you might expect.

The fact that we have a leaky pipeline means we see girls and women dropping out at all levels; from elementary school where it’s not cool to like Math to academics at institutions that want to have careers and families.

See if you can relate to any of the stories in this article or share your story in our comments section.

Women of Congress Promote STEM Education, Careers

Women of Congress Promote STEM Education, Careers
The women of Congress are working to empower young women to see themselves in STEM
careers. The congresswomen joined leaders from businesses, nonprofits, and global corporations
for a luncheon Wednesday hosted by the nonpartisan Million Women Mentors (MWM). The
almost 150 people in attendance dined together to celebrate MWM’s efforts to promote
mentoring young women in STEM fields.

STEM careers are the fastest-growing jobs in the United States, yet women make up only a
quarter of STEM workers.

To bridge the gender gap and bolster the U.S. labor force, female leaders say young girls need to
see STEM careers as an option through mentorships and exciting hands-on education.
“When you give a girl a chance to build a robot when she’s 5 or build a rocket when she’s 10,
she will have the inspiration and the know-how to become interested in those fields and see her
future in those fields,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Representatives Debbie
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Kay Granger (R-TX) are trying to do just that. The day after the
luncheon, the lawmakers introduced HR 4161, the 21st Century STEM for Underrepresented
Students Act.

The legislation would use grants from the National Science Foundation to fund research on
STEM programs that work to engage elementary- and middle-school students who are typically
underrepresented in STEM fields. “High school and college are often too late to expose students
to STEM. That effort must start earlier, and target underrepresented students such as girls, people
of color, and those who have historically faced economic or other barriers to STEM
achievement,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. (From B. Bowman, Roll
Call, March 7, 2014)

Top Ten Women in Science

In recognition of Women’s History month, I thought the article posted on the Ri channel would be a good way to celebrate scientific achievements of women.  It’s not really a list of only ten names, but it has a great many very talented women listed.

I hadn’t been on this site before so was curious about what Ri stood for.  It’s The Royal Institution of Great Britain- Science Lives Here. The Royal Institution was founded in March 1799 with the aim of introducing new technologies and teaching science to the general public.

I’m still not sure what the story is for their Christmas lectures, but that has me intrigued as well.  Enjoy exploring their site and let me know what you discover.

Who Needs to Know How to Code

Article and video in Wall Street Journal, “Who Needs to Know How to Code” shows the way coding has become mainstream, not just for programmers any more.

Technology is so pervasive that it’s a literacy we all need to know.  It’s starting very young with 10 year-olds and goes all the way up the corporate ladder.  Helps managers communicate better with the IT team, so they are able to talk the same language and have better understanding of what is possible.


National Women’s History Month

Each year, March is designated as National Women’s History Month to ensure the history of American women will be recognized and celebrated in schools, workplaces, and communities throughout the country.
Visit the National Girls Collaborative Project for great weekly articles about women in STEM.  Women in Energy and Climate Change gives both current women profiles and highlights Beatrice Hicks:
Beatrice Hicks (1919-1979)
Beatrice Hicks pioneered the way for countless other women in the field of engineering. She was inspired by great structures such as the Empire State Building to become an engineer. She was the first woman engineer to be employed by Western Electric Company where she patented a molecular density scanner and developed industry standards for quality control procedures. Ms. Hicks worked tirelessly to make the field of engineering more accessible to women in an era where less than 1% of engineers employed in the US were women.

The 2014 theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment”.

Share how your favorite woman role model displayed character, courage and commitment.